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Derrius Guice runs wild as LSU rolls over Texas A&M on Thanksgiving

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Leftovers are always one of the best parts of Thanksgiving and, after Thursday’s performance, you can probably count Texas A&M as a team that may have had too much of them before hitting the field.

The Aggies looked like they were in the middle of a holiday food coma most of the game as the team struggled to stop LSU in a lopsided 54-39 loss to further the team’s November slide.

Tigers tailback Derrius Guice continued to look like one of the best players in the country even if he was just a fill-in for injured starter Leonard Fournette. The sophomore broke Fournette’s school single game record (set just last month) by rushing for 285 yards and four touchdowns on the night.

Not to be completely out done, quarterback Danny Etling turned in perhaps the best performance of his career — certainly the best in an LSU uniform — by throwing for 324 yards and two touchdowns. The LSU backfield remarkably topped 300 yards through the air and 200 on the ground for the first time in school history.

Etling’s opposite number Trevor Knight didn’t have quite those numbers in his first start in nearly three weeks after injuring his shoulder against Mississippi State. The signal-caller finished just 14-of-30 for 211 yards but did throw for three touchdowns as A&M mounted a late comeback in the second half. The senior unfortunately didn’t finish the game as he had to be helped off to the sidelines in the fourth quarter with a knee injury.

Keith Ford chipped in 100 yards rushing for the Aggies while true freshman Trayveon Williams added another 63 and a touchdown.

The win was a big one for LSU interim head coach Ed Orgeron to close out the regular season 5-2 under his watch. Whether that is enough to get the Louisiana native the permanent job remains in the air but most of the game was overshadowed by multiple reports regarding the school closing in on hiring Houston head coach Tom Herman.

The program ended up releasing two different in-game statements denying reports that they have concluded their coaching search but it will undoubtedly to be the talk around Baton Rouge as to what direction the Tigers’ brass takes over the next few days.

At the same time, speculation will only increase that Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin could be on the hot seat himself after yet another late season slide. The Aggies were No. 4 in the initial College Football Playoff standings but will enter December wondering what the future holds after dropping four of their last six to finish 8-4.

VIDEO: LSU RB Derrius Guice squats 650 pounds

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Derrius Guice may be the most underrated player in college football.

Playing in the shadow of Leonard Fournette, Guice posted an eye-popping 8.55 yards per carry (51 rushes for 436 yards) as a freshman in 2015, then kept his big-play ability as his usage increased while Fournette battled injuries in his final college season. Guice rushed 183 times for 1,387 yards and 15 touchdowns; his 7.58 yards per carry average was the most among Power 5 rushers with at least 180 carries.

So, yes, Guice is really good. He’s also a physical freak.

LSU captured and tweeted video Friday of Guice squatting 650 pounds, more than three times his listed 212 pounds.

If — and this is a massive, Les Miles-firing if — LSU can consistently throw the ball in 2017, go ahead and make Guice your darkhorse Heisman contender in 2017.

(HT CBS Sports)

Former Miami TE Jovani Haskins headed to West Virginia

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Jovani Haskins announced two weeks ago he was leaving Miami for “somewhere else.” That somewhere else proved to be a favorite destination of other Sunshine State transfers: West Virginia.

“WVU is my new home and I can’t wait to perform in front of the fans of West Virginia!” he tweeted on Saturday.

A 3-star prospect out of Bergenfield, N.J.., Haskins was offered by West Virginia in the class of 2016 and most recruiting experts actually had him signing with the Mountaineers before a surprise commitment to Miami.

Haskins joins two former state of Florida players on WVU’s roster: starting quarterback Will Grier (Florida) and former Miami quarterback Jack Allison (Miami). The Mountaineers also employed Florida State transfer Clint Trickett at quarterback and Miami transfer Antonio Crawford at cornerback.

Haskins redshirted in 2016 and will presumably sit out 2017 before gaining eligibility in ’18. West Virginia could use the help immediately; the roster lists one scholarship tight end at present. WVU currently has two tight ends pledged for the 2018 class in addition to Haskins.

 

BYU wearing special patch in honor of LaVell Edwards

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BYU got the summer media day fun started on Friday with their football media day. BYU tends to pull out all the stops on its media day with coach and player interviews, alumni returning, and a handful of announcements about the future of the program. In addition to news about their relationship with ESPN, BYU also announced the football team will be sporting a patch this season in honor of the late LaVell Edwards.

In addition to players wearing the patch on their jerseys, BYU coaches will also wear the patch on their sleeves.

Edwards passed away in December at the age of 86. The BYU coaching legend spent 29 seasons on the sidelines in Provo and accumulated 257 wins along the way. Among those was a national championship season in 1984, which remains the most recent national championship to be claimed by a program not currently in a power conference. Edwards took 22 BYU teams to a bowl game.

Now if we can just keep getting BYU to stick to that lighter shade of blue as their main home uniform, we’ll be in great shape.

Former Vanderbilt football player Brandon Banks found guilty of rape

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Former Vanderbilt football player Brandon Banks was convicted by a jury on Friday for rape of a female Vanderbilt student. Following 15 hours of jury deliberations, the verdict of guilty on one count of aggravated rape and one count of aggravated sexual battery was in.

”He’s shocked but understands that this is only the first part of this process, there’s a lot more to do from here on,” Banks’ lawyer, Mark Scruggs, said after the verdict. ”We have some really good issues to raise.”

Part of Banks’ defense was built on succumbing to peer pressure, suggesting he feared he may be beaten up by teammates if he did not participate in the scandalous activity. The jury, having reviewed videos and photos from the incident, some of which were shot by Banks, determined that was not a viable defense.

”Making fun of another person is not right, but we know it happens,” Assistant District Attorney Roger Moore said in closing arguments, according to the Associated Press. ”But it doesn’t give you a legal defense to commit a crime, particularly not an aggravated rape, an aggravated sexual battery. I mean if that’s the case, then we’d have the ‘football team defense.”’

Banks will serve a minimum of 15 years in prison. One count of aggravated rape has a minimum sentence of 15 years.

Other former Vanderbilt players had previously been convicted for their roles in the 2013 rape. Cory Batey was found guilty of aggravated rape and sentenced to 15-25 years in prison in April 2016. Brandon Vandenbeurg was found guilty and sentenced to 17 years in prison.